Last weekend, in Lahore, Pakistan, Muslim and Christian leaders joined together in an interfaith vigil to remember the 76 victims of the bomb attack in a park there at Easter.
Hafiz Muhammad Nauman of the World Council of Religions told gathering of Christian activists and leaders that “we always blame each her every time terror strikes the nation. Every Muslim who joins a terror group does not belong to our religion anymore. Terrorists are our common enemy; their religion is terrorism, not Islam. When they kill, they don’t draw a line between Christian and Muslim victims”.
A Muslim professor blamed ignorance and illiteracy for infecting young minds with fanaticism. “We have nothing to say but broken words. If you can’t make this world heaven, there is no other. Religion is meant to be acted upon, not used for killing people. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and Islam also teaches brotherhood”, he said.
According to Church sources, 17 Christians died in the bomb attack and others remain in critical conditions in the hospitals. Fr. James Channan, director of the Peace centre, read out the names of all the victims and demanded compensation for the affected families
“The attack on Easter is a conspiracy to spark sectarian fighting in the country but the religious leaders are united against terrorism. It is time to step outside; interfaith rallies on the streets can discourage the militants. We are not afraid of them”, he said, praising clerics for observing a Day of Prayer in all the mosques this coming Friday.
The Muslim speakers also announced a Day of Tolerance to be held on Friday, April 8th.
- Give thanks for the uniting of religious leaders from the Muslim and Christian communities in Lahore, and that this attack has served to bring unity, rather than division and hatred.
- Pray for ongoing relations between Muslims and Christians in Pakistan, that there will be a growing understanding of each other’s beliefs, and a commitment to freedom of worship for all people.
- Pray for protection for Pakistan Christians, who face growing persecution and harassment because of their faith.
- Pray that further plans by fanatical groups to target Christians in Pakistan will be thwarted and come to nothing.
- Pray that many Muslims in Pakistan will come to know the truth of the Gospel and come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 6 vs 12: “ For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.“